Are Celebrities Toxic for Society
a. What challenges did you overcome throughout this inquiry project? How did you go about overcoming these challenges?
Throughout this inquiry project, I was challenged by the logistics of my question. Saying that celebrities are toxic for society is a very blanket statement and it could easily include bias right off the bat. I tried to look at the facts. For example, I listed the pros and cons of having celebrities in my second research round, explaining the good they have done and the bad. Second, I struggled to actualize the ramifications of my question in my last post which was “what would the world look like without celebrities. Since it is fictional and will probably never happen, it was hard to come up with how it would work. I was brainstorming if there should be athletes, government, movies, or tv because all of these things have public influence. I ended up settling on classifying athletes as celebrities; at least the ones who are known by their fans by not only their skill but also their personality. I let government and film stay because a non-governed world would be chaotic, and film is an art form that I don’t want to ruin. Lastly, I initially didn’t want to offend anyone who idolized any celebrities. There are a bunch of people who are inspired by celebrities and to break down that we would be better off without them might hurt those people. I settled on starting off my project by explaining the difference between fame and being a celebrity because maybe I could make them understand how you can respect a person’s work without having to know about their personality/ personal life. Instead, those people could look up to people in their community/family.
- How did this inquiry change the way you think?
This inquiry affected my view of celebrities and the entertainment business. The reason I asked this question in the first place was because I felt like the people around me were so thoroughly invested in pop culture that their conversations, ideas, and ideals were all based on it. This is the goal of the entertainment business. That’s why there are interviews, products to buy, invasive paparazzi that tell you more about the everyday lives of celebrities, and so on. Now after researching I believe even more in what I was originally pondering. Celebrities are toxic for society and there is no way celebrity culture will disappear; I actually see it growing in future years. For example, the increase of social media use and documentaries are bringing more attention to celebrities. They are encouraged to share more and more about their lives. I think that is unhealthy for everyone involved. This inquiry also changed my view on beauty standards. For instance, I wrote about how models and celebrities, in general, have a mass influence on how we perceive beauty. Traditional western beauty standards are prevalent and incorporated in tons of different cultures because of this. Before I still saw diversity in what in the media called beautiful, but I can’t confidently say that today. The diversity is minimal and almost like a sub-category. Also, what diversity there is still plays on the tell-tale small nose, light skin, skinny standard we have seen forever. I think beauty is different for everyone; any standard that exists today is one person/group’s idea of beauty.
- How did this investigation impact your future decisions?
This investigation will impact my future decisions by making me think more about who I am idolizing and why I am doing it. I don’t want to idolize a celebrity for their personality because there is no real way to separate what they want you to see versus what they are really like. For example, I probably won’t be watching many promotion-based interviews, late-night shows and such, because the whole idea is to make you like the celebrity as a person to lead you to like their work. It should at least be the other way around. This project will also make me more aware of how much I am supporting celebrity culture. Talking about celebrity rumors, pop culture news, award show winners; all of that. I don’t really think it’s a huge deal to do see but I will be more conscious of it. After all, it is my life. I don’t need to be filling it with the details of others I haven’t even met.
- What impact will this investigation have on others locally and/or globally?
I think this investigation could have more of a local impact since globally I don’t think these ideas would be widely accepted. I don’t expect that celebrities are going to like this perspective or businesses that are both making money off of it. As long as this investigation can get a conversation started about the cons of having celebrities in our society then the investigation has done its job. Specifically, for local impacts, If people looked up to others in their community they would have the opportunity to get to know the person they idolize and build connections with them. Also, the way people treat others locally might be different. Knowing that beauty doesn’t have to come from the media could make people create their own definition of the word. If this could happen, people wouldn’t be as insecure. companies make people insecure about things that they weren’t before. For example, every time a company shames you into buying their product by showing unachievable standards, they are doing just that. So, without it, people would probably be more confident and less insecure.